Smart911 Service Now Available to Everyone in Barry County
June 11, 2014
Emergency response just got a little bit better in Barry County.
Smart911 is now available to everyone in the county, giving people the opportunity to set up a profile with critical information needed in an emergency.
When you call 9-1-1, you may be frantic and unable to recall specific information, but now you can set up a profile ahead of time, giving police and fire all of the information they need about your family and your home.
"I think it's wonderful," said Thornapple Township Emergency Services Chief David Middleton. "It's going to do a lot for us."
The new Smart911 system allows you to set up a profile, including information like names and photos of everyone in your household.
It may also include any medical conditions, allergies, and even the layout of your house.
"So that you could show where your utility shutoffs are, where your furnace is, where your propane tank is located," explained Lani Forbes, the chair of the 9-1-1 Advisory Committee.
Forbes says that information makes it much easier for first responders to help you.
"When I'm arriving in the fire truck, I have all of that information, and can be reading that on my way to the call," Forbes said.
"A fire doubles in size each minute, so 60 seconds makes a big difference," said Middleton.
Ionia, Eaton, Ottawa, and Van Buren Counties are already using Smart911, and Hastings Police Chief Jeff Pratt says his officers will be encouraging people to sign up.
"Every time that one of my officers goes on a complaint, I'm going to have them hand out some material to the people they're talking to," he said.
According to Cheif Pratt, it takes about 10 to 15 minutes to sign up, but says it's well worth it if the information is ever needed.
"I would hate for people to think, 'Oh, I wish I would have done that before this happened,'" Forbes said.
"I would encourage everyone to sign up for this, because it is going to save lives in the long run," Chief Pratt said.
It is a bit of a process to sign up, but the Chief says it's worth the time it takes.
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